Background: Uncertainty exists over the significance of structural changes arising from cerebral small vessel disease (CSVD), including white matter lesions (WML), lacunes and atrophy, for outcome after acute intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). We determined associations of CT markers of CSVD and outcomes among participants of the INTERACT2 study.
Methods: We graded WML (van Swieten scale), brain atrophy (two linear measurements, frontal ratio [FR] and third ventricle Sylvian fissure distance [TSD]) and the presence of lacunes for 2069/2839 patients with available baseline brain CT (<6hr ICH onset) by three independent neurologists blind to clinical data.
Results: WML and brain atrophy were independently associated with death or disability (modified Rankin Scale score 3-6) at 90 days: adjusted odds ratios for WML (grade 3 and 4 vs. 1), FR and TSD (most vs. least severe atrophy quartile) were 1.42 (95% confidence interval 1.02-0.98), 1.47 (1.08-1.99) and 1.64 (1.21-2.22), respectively (all P for trend <0.05). There was no association between lacunes or any CSVD biomarkers and absolute ICH growth, and no significant differences in the effects of intensive BP lowering in each subgroup of CSVD.
Conclusions: CSVD manifestations of WML and brain atrophy have prognostic value in acute ICH but they do not appear to influence ICH growth. Intensive BP lowering provided similar treatment effects irrespective of degree of CSVD.